- GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-or more than 40 years, Hospice of Michigan has been committed to their mission of providing quality end-of-life care for all regardless of age, diagnosis, or ability to pay. Helping families cope with the loss of a loved one is an important component of the hospice journey. Hospice of Michigan stays connected with the bereaved for a minimum of 13 months following the death of a loved one, providing a wide range of supportive programming to all members of a patient’s family. In addition to more traditional support groups, seminars and memorial activities, Hospice of Michigan offers some unique tools to help loved ones through their grief.
Historically, Hospice of Michigan has offered a wide range of in-person support groups, as well as one on one counseling, phone calls and seminars. One of the unique ways Hospice of Michigan brings healing to the families they serve is through Memory Bears. Linking objects are items that aid people in maintaining connection to loved ones. They are powerful in their significance.
The theory of linking objects dates back top 1972 (Dr. Vamik Volkan), a psychiatrist. Since then, much research has been done that confirms the meaningful connection Linking Objects provide, especially when mourning loss.
The physical, tactile experience of holding or rubbing an object is helpful. Hospice of Michigan’s Memory Bear program – which began in 2014 – is a wonderful example of a linking object. Memory bears are made by volunteer sewers using favorite shirts/clothing and are designed to preserve aspects of loved ones with one-of-a-kind stuffed animals.
They become treasured keepsakes to cherish the memory of a loved one who’s passed away on – *available only to someone who’s loved one was served by Hospice of Michigan
ADDITIONAL TOOLS THAT CONNECT AND BRING COMFORT
- “Notes of Hope” – a weekly affirmation that arrives via e-mail
- These reflections can often help us through the day
- Visit https://www.hom.org/our-services/grief-support-groups/ to subscribe
- Spotify Play Lists were introduced within last year
- Always looking to provide unique ways to provide comfort and support
- Music has the power to comfort
- Worked with our certified music therapist to curated these lists
- Introduced three Spotify channels https://www.hom.org/spotify/